Roger Waters Channels Pink Floyd, Slams Donald Trump in ‘Us + Them’ Tour Preview

Roger Waters Channels Pink Floyd, Slams
Kate Izor

As a preview of both his new album — “Is This the Life We Really Want?,” due June 2 on Columbia Records — and an upcoming, large scale tour promoted by AEG Live’s Concerts West division — “Us + Them,” which launches May 26 in Kansas City — Roger Waters held an elaborate late-afternoon dress rehearsal at the Meadowlands Arena in New Jersey on Sunday.

The event, ostensibly for “friends and family” (and what Waters teased was “friends and families of those families, then some more friends and families of those friends and families, and so on”), saw the 73-year-old in good physical shape but a bit of a hoarse voice as he led a nine-piece backing group with backing singers — some so new he forgot their names, but including longtime Beck drummer Joey Waronker — through a powerful 23-song set list. Included was the live debut of four songs from the new album — “Déjà Vu,” “The Last Refugee,” “Picture That” and “Smell the Roses” — while the rest were from his classic Pink Floyd songbook.

Photo: Kate Izor

The newer songs — the acoustic “Déjà Vu,” reminiscent of Leonard Cohen, the harshly rocking “Picture That” — fit into Waters’ larger Pink Floyd oeuvre with ease, as did the look of the show.

Us + Them Artistic Director Sean Evans has crafted an audio-visual vision very much in league with Waters’ Pink Floyd past: a 3D surround-sound speaker system emulating the “quadrophonic” sound of “Dark Side of the Moon” (and that 1973 album’s classic “laser pyramid” design); lots of post-psychedelic images splayed across a massive, stage-wide LED screen; ample use of the handshake imagery from 1975’s “Wish You Were Here” (used in both peaceful moments as well as depicting sarcasm, lies and affronts to human dignity); and the power station and flying pigs from 1977’s “Animals” — the latter of which was updated to scabrous effect.

Photo: Kate Izor

The floating inflatable pigs were a highlight of the two-and-a-half-hour show. During the long, stuttering “Pigs (Three Different Ones),” an anti-Trump-image was projected on one side of the pig, while split video screens featured Trump quotes and mocking shots of him in various degrees of loathing and laughter. As Waters repeated the words “charade, charade,” during the taunting “Pigs,” images of Trump holding a large dildo, wearing lipstick and as a rotund Buddah (with a small penis) flashed upon the screen. There was also one final message: “F— TRUMP.”

While the visual aspect of “Us + Them” was pure spectacle, the setlist was the anchor. From the ambient swell of “Eclipse” and “Brain Damage” to a ragged run at “Money,” from the haunted art-jazz of “Us and Them” to the glower of Waters’ voice on “Picture This,” the show was an exquisite first look at the feel-good-to-feel-bad-show of the summer.

Set One:
Speak to Me/Breathe
One of These Days
Breathe (Reprise)
The Great Gig in the Sky
Déjà Vu
The Last Refugee
Picture That
Welcome to the Machine
Wish You Were Here
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Another Brick in the Wall Part 3

Set 2:
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Us and Them
Smell the Roses
Brain Damage

Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb

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    1. George says:

      I just wanted to see some of the comments. I’m glad to see a good mix of both sides of politics. It is great that we can express our opinions. I’m 71 now and still like music but because of the mix and slant of the music industry I no longer contribute to NPR, PBS, etc. I listened to Garrison Keilor for 20 years until I read one of his rants and I can’t listen to his previous stories and enjoy them. In the past 8 years I have seen friendships breakup that went back to kindergarten over what the media reports and the way they report it. We’ve seen NFL ratings and attendance drop over someone’s opinion. And the show people make big claims but what do they really contribute. One football player raised 22 million by himself and look how many big names in entertainment to raise JUST twice that amount. And why haven’t Whoopi, Cher, and Rosie headed north like they promised?

    2. Bill says:

      Roger Waters’ show was exceptional, moving, and in all aspects beautiful. KUDOS to the artistic director Sean Evans who provided amazingly powerful visuals. I was so enthralled with the accompanying films I wanted to see credits at the end of the show so that I could learn about all of the creative individuals that shot the beautiful footage. Of course the “Pigs” portion was especially satisfying to me and the rest of the coliseum (except for one couple that I saw leave). It is completely validating to see this terrible, narcissistic, misogynist man-child (45) ridiculed in a coliseum full of people, that again – mostly agreed. I also especially loved the Flamenco dancer segment. The music & visuals combined brought me and my friends to tears numerous times. It was spectacular and again – beautiful.

      Thank you Roger Waters! Thank you Sean Evans.

      For those who don’t appreciate Waters expressing his distaste for our current POTUS, or as I call him our POS, what planet are you living on? An artist – expressing his political views!!! Who would have ever thought it?! (Good grief. Get over yourselves and go see a Hank Williams Jr. show with Scott Baio.)

    3. Patti Preston says:

      Not interested in Roger’s political view, coming out to be entertained by his talents. In dire need of fun or frustration!

    4. Mike Palmer says:

      Gee– another performer who hates Trump– how very original and creative. I guess he has to direct the focus on things other than his music since his new album is awful. He’s a shell of his former self.

    5. vj says:

      It was a wondedful show, full of creativity and guts from a 70+ year old. Great musicians have a message – you can start with Bob Dylan and CSNY. Tough if you cannot take it. Go watch Ted Nugent and then go glorify your guns. Personally, it showed me a musician who cared about the poor and downtrodden of the world, since the Trump fans only care about themselves and their warped patriotism.
      I wish Roger another 20 years of fire and creativity

    6. Angela Muller says:

      I am paying to hear music. I do not care what the political leanings are of the performer and I think they are better off keeping their opinions to themselves. He is a paid performer. Perform. Pure and simple. I don’t want to hear him whine.

    7. I thought the show was great! The crowd really roared when “Trump is a Pig” was displayed in letters 30 feet tall. I didn’t see one single dissatisfied customer. The right-wing druggies and drunks that thought they were going to a headbanger show just don’t live in this part of Washington, so we didn’t have to deal with their sad little fee-fees.

    8. lynda says:

      Another leftist foreigner trying to garner attention & adoration from the USA leftist useful idiots & democrats. When will we the people enforce capitalism & end the millions these haters lifestyles of the rich & famous. Boycott ALL of Hollywood, all the leftist/lib celebs & leftists/liberal products. They take hate to an all new level.

      • riley boom says:

        What a waste of money and time and, to think we paid for this hateful garbage! We, too, will boycott all entertainment and save our hard EARNED money. We just wanted an evening to enjoy being united with all people who share a love of music, regardless of race, age, or political beliefs. Instead, it was a divisive, hateful, and vulgar anti-Trump shitfest. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY. RESIST HATEFUL HOLLYWOOD!

      • Aw, gee lynda. You’re sounding a little sour grapes there. Tickets were sold out? You couldn’t afford them? You’d rather clutch your hankie and spew hate while accusing others of your own moral crimes? You should have just coughed up the cash and gone to the show. I bet you’d have a much better attitude.

        • Zachary Theriot says:

          I see where she is coming from, and I can also see Rodger’s point of view. Stop belittling random people online and grow up. And before you call me poor, I just got back from his performance from New Orleans.

    9. John D. Fiat says:

      I heard this Limey wasted one half-hour on his senseless tirade and hate. So if you paid 200 dollars to attend the concert that means this idiot owes you 50 bucks (not to mention 1/2 hour of your life back). He is paid to perform music, not spew political nonsense! Besides, like most libt@rds he’s too stupid to understand that he’s on the wrong side, the side of the globalist one world government. Their objective it to remove all borders and thus, ruin all developed countries, so that those countries have no identify of themselves left. Think of your favorite foods from their countries of origins. Multiculturalism is akin to being forced to eat them all at once by throwing them in a blender on puree. (A taco, hamburger, lasagna, gyro milkshake if you will. Sounds good, eh? NOT!!!) So yeah, Waters, how is that “multiculturalism” nonsense working out for the U.K.? Bombs away! lmao

    10. Gary says:

      The music was great. The second half of the concert was just whining about Trump. While I respect his right of freedom of speech to do it at a concert where people large amounts of money to hear hi so music I see totally inappropriate. It does not matter which side of his opinion a person is on. No one paid him to hold a political ralley. I will never again go to his concert.

    11. William Passavant says:

      Great show. The condemnation of corporate greed and industrial war machines along with the focusing on the plight of refugees and the need for folks to renounce ‘Us and Them’ mentality and politics were very hard hitting. Obviously, Trump supporters will hate the show. So will anyone who wants a sparkling, shiny, happy evening of entertainment. But anyone who is surprised by Waters’ expression of his views obviously is not much of a Waters/Pink Floyd fan. He/they have been saying these things for decades, if you ever really listened to the words of the songs you claim to have loved for years you would know this is true. So if you fall into the ‘I just want to be entertained but not think about serious stuff category’, you’d be better off staying at home and watching old episodes of Father Knows Best or something. But if you really care about the world we all live in and all of the people who share it with us, then this show is for you.

      • Bill says:

        I absolutely agree with you William. The show was magnificent. I saw it in NC and only saw one couple leave during “Pigs”. I absolutely loved that portion of the concert along with the rest of the show. The Art direction (the visuals, lighting and the film work) was exquisite! I would see that show again if I could.

      • John D. Fiat says:

        So called refugees are able to muster up (and pay) 300 pounds to get to Europe. They’re obviously not in destitute. So, if anything, it’s human trafficking at the expense of Europe. (just like Aztecs coming to America) And in both cases, the only winners are the coyotes. Do some research!

        • lynda says:

          So just how much help did Bob Geldof’s concert for the poor fair for actually helping the poor. Until the dictators/tyrants/liberals & leftists are thrown OUT of power the people will suffer. History proves they are the cause of starvation. Roger Waters & people like you are the useful idiots destroying exactly what you purport to help. Stuck on stupid!

    12. Brent Allenbach says:

      I have been a Pink Floyd fan for the last 40 years – and can say that they have been, if not my number one group, easily in my top 3 of all time. I have spent a lot of money for shirts, albums, tickets, posters, etc. I have also learned that if you start to take into account a musicians politics, you will really reduce your music portfolio. I attended the show in Denver and can say that this show was the most political I have ever seen. It went too far – by a long way. I am not a Trump fan, but am becoming more of one every day when I see these vicious attacks – by people that are not even citizens of our country. I also realize that when a Rock Group say’s things in their 20’s that they don’t usually think through the long term ramifications of their lyrics. Great example would be when the Who said in “My Generation” – “I hope I die before I get old,” probably don’t believe that now. During “Pigs” Roger was excoriating “greedy rich” people, including Trump, while showing picture and after picture of children in poverty. Funny how his net worth is reported as $145million. I paid a hell of a lot of money for myself, my son and my son in law to attend. Bottom line is that as big of fan as I have been, this will be the last time I spend money and energy on Pink Floyd. That may not mean anything to Roger but it will to me. If you are thinking about going to the show, and are liberal and a Trump hater, you will love it. If you are not a Trump hater, save your money and spend it on a great tribute band like Brit Floyd or Australian Pink Floyd. Much cheaper and a lot less anxiety. Thanks for letting me rant.

      • Roger Barrett says:

        If you want a “greatest hits” show, go see Brit Floyd or Aussie Floyd – they pay Roger Waters to be able to play the songs he wrote, just as David Gilmour and the latter-day Pink Floyd had to pay him to play the songs he wrote.

        Waters officially left Pink Floyd thirty-two years ago; if you think you’re basically going to see “Pink Floyd” or are somehow unaware of Waters’ outspoken political views, then you’ve been living under a rock.

        Very few bands have elevated songwriting to the level of respect usually reserved for literature. It might be why Dark Side of the Moon stayed on the charts for fourteen years straight, and why most people can only name two Ted Nugent songs.

    13. Bob Powell says:

      I am a Viet Nam vet, anti-war and have listened to Pink Floyd since the early 70s. After seeing Waters on the Sunday morning show and then the anti-Trump BS he plans in his venue, I wonder where the hell he was during Obama’s eight years of death and destruction? Or for that matter, England’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan? He really has a set of steel gonads to come to the US and demean and vilify a sitting President. Of course, playing in Tacoma, WA, will get him loads of cheers from the bastion of NW Liberal lunacy. I’m done with Pink Floyd and am really tired of entertainers that have to politicize their shows for cheap applause. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

      • Theodore Anthony says:

        Bob, what’s your personal opinion of Donald Trump’s bone spur draft deferments?

      • I agree completely with Bob Powell. I pay to be entertained, not to be insulted. I consider ANY political reference at a concert, when I am PAYING MY MONEY to be entertained, to be inexcusable. BTW – thank you for your service, Mr. Powell.

    14. Exa Melizza says:


    15. Louis says:

      Me and 7 buddies are not going after hearing this. Just got refund. This prick is not even a citizen

      • rob says:

        I hope he doesn’t pull this crap in Toronto.I’m seriously want to go but with political crap like this I don’t know. Yours truly
        Probably Not.

    16. Elizabeth Crofts says:

      What a shame we can’t even go to a concert now without dragging hatred about a president and politics into it. While I believe in our right of freedom of expression, I, one who had enjoyed Pink Floyd music, find this very poor taste and the lewdness described unacceptable at a concert.

      • So I just saw the show last night! All I can say is FREAKING AMAZING!!! you did it one more time Roger Waters, and left us all with a whole lot to think about, which exceeds normal every day life and which goes to the WORLD AS A WHOLE. I am in awe of his artistic abilities as a musician, and as someone who has ALWAYS taken a political and CONTROVERSIAL stance. Lets face it, the world is hating and killing each other. . . . and we sit back while people are starving and dying, wars, prisoners. WAKE UP WORLD. As for the show . . . I cannot praise him enough. I had no idea what to expect and watched as a whole lot of people got up and left when he talked about President Trump. So this is the thing. Why is it ok for him to talk about the other world controversies yet when he talks about this, right here, under everyone noses, people freak out? I mean, are we really that ignorant as a nation to not see the potential here and I am not talking about good potential . . . . EYES WIDE SHUT! I stated this in reply to someone who wanted to say, it was not appropriate for “a concert” . . . . what does everyone thing the movie “The Wall” was about, or any of his other stances? the new songs . . . . .? does anyone listen???? how do you go to a show and NOT KNOW what you are going to see???? Does everyone think Roger Waters is just a COOL TRIPPY MUSIC LIGHT SHOW????? Unfortunately, the lewdness started with the president, and the ignorance remains in the people who CHOOSE to keep their eyes closed to what is going on in the world around us, and RIGHT HERE IN OUR COUNTRY!!!. His show did nothing but speak the TRUTH. Yes, it is not what anyone wants to see when they pay lots of money for a night out. re:money. . . . make the connection . . . You either are in or your out, and if you are in agreement to the TRUTH that was shown last night, you would support. Sadly . . . . . Roger Waters did not make trump do and say the things he did, nor is he responsible for the World as a whole’s actions, which now is subject to FREEDOM OF SPEECH. . . .Lets face it, this has nothing to do with whether he is an American citizen or not, this has everything to do with the WORLD AS A WHOLE. Wake up people. Didn’t we learn from the sins of the past????

      • Unfortunately, the lewdness started with the president. As a self proclaimed fan, it seems that you should UNDERSTAND the political and controversial nature and stand that Roger Waters takes. It seem that your upset stems from because force to see something that speaks TRUTH. Of course it is not what anyone wants to see when they pay lots of money for a night out. re:money. . . . make the connection? You either are in or your out, and if you are in agreement to the TRUTH that was shown last night, you would support. sadly . . . . . Roger Waters did not make trump do and say the things he did which now is subject to FREEDOM OF SPEECH.

        • Bill says:

          Absolutely Kihaku!! Well stated! The Roger Waters concert was one of the best I’ve ever seen.

    17. John says:

      I live in one of the reddest states in the US. I will be in Tulsa, OK on Thursday for his show. First off, to those of you mad about Roger’s political views, he has had similar political views for four decades now, and has been quite vocal about those views for the past two decades, give or take. Given the lyrical content of many of the Pink Floyd songs from the 70’s (especially later albums), does it really come as any shock that anti-Trump rhetoric might be a product of this show? A show entitled “Us + Them”, more specifically. Politics aside, I can’t wait to go just for the sociologic experience of watching the audience reaction to his political message. I’ll make sure to have a beer and popcorn in hand for the second half of the show.

    18. Jimbo says:

      Waste of money unless you want to experience anti-American symbolism on display by a non-American

      • Melissa Anaya says:

        Free speach is very American. It was Anti Trump not Anti American. And only 2 out of 24 songs.
        It was also packed and loudest applause and cheers when he posted Trumps own words.

    19. Lou says:

      Look at who the snowflakes are now. Rest easy, can still go to a Nugent show and have him hold up two rifles and boast about wanting to shove them up Obama and Clinton’s bottom ends.

      Trump is a pig

    20. keith wilson says:

      I was really hoping for a great show. It was obvious that this was the first show of the tour !! Not very good. The politics being directed they way they were, sad . . . . I hope Roger enjoys Soros’s money because it was an obvious kiss on his hind end. Its too bad that he had to stoop so low to make a buck. There was a day he was great in his vision and now hes just a scratchy voice has been riding the tails of a day gone buy. I could have spent the money better and watched CNN. Never again :(

    21. Yarg says:

      This is disgraceful… And honestly has broken my heart… Since I was little I wanted to see, at least one of the members from my favorite band play live….. I will NEVER waist my money to go see this man, not only to watch him discrace the band Pink Floyd and what the music really represents, but also our president of the United States! I can’t believe Gilmour is letting him do this! I’ve loved Pink Floyd all my life…. This is a disgusting representation…. Tragic…

    22. TROY J GOCHENOUR says:

      I was so offended by this.. I go to a concert to forget about all this political crap… and some guy from Britain come here and completely ruined the show, we had to walk out on this disgraceful show….. we can’t tolerate this anymore…. screw you roger,,,, how about we come to Britain and complete disrespect your queen

    23. James Maryland says:

      Saw his private rehearsal in new jersey at MetLife stadium and was so excited. Concert was great until on my favorite song pigs three little ones. Roger decided to display offensive images of Donald Trump in a kkk hood and raising his hand like Hilter. Even if you don’t support Trump that was disgraceful. You shouldn’t say that aboutt anyone. And further more i just wanted to have a good time and I would have been offended if he said that about anyone.

    24. Robin says:

      What is wrong with the United States of America that we the people will let someone from across the pond come over her and trash our President??!! He WALKED OUT ON PINK FLOYD…..SUED THEM FOR THEIR NAME….AND LOST. HE IS NOT PINK FLOYD!!!!! Go back to the pond Roger Waters!!!! You are sooooo screwed up Roger Waters.

    25. Authoritarian Slayer says:

      LOOOOL! The poor white trash trolls who voted for the jackass who is actively making them poorer are mad at the multi-millionaire rockstar who tells them the truth. By the way, Roger Waters will make more money off this one tour than you will ever make in your entire life.

      • His opinion is irrelevant. He is being paid to entertain, not to insult. I’d feel the same way if he was insulting Obama. Just because I agree with an opinion doesn’t make it okay for an entertainer to insult others that paid him to entertain them.

        • John D. Fiat says:

          White trash, eh? So, if a performer wasted concert time bagging on Obama rather than performing, and you (or anyone of your ilk) complained, you’d be a … Do you see how this works? FYI, Rogers will make more money from this show than you and all of your buddies put together as well. Furthermore, only a complete idiot would compare the pocketbook of an overpaid celebrity to that of a person whom lives in the real world. Going by your logic, Shaq is smarter than an MIT professor because he makes more money. Snoop Dogg knows more about music than the head of the Juliard School because he makes more money. POWNED!!!

        • cisengineer says:

          I’m going to call BS on the “He’s being paid to entertain (me!)” gripe. Buying a ticket does not give you the right to direct his performance. I would hardly respect any artist who would allow that.

    26. Yaaaaaaawn. I wouldnt walk across the street to spit on Rogers Waters. I remember a time, by his own admission, when Pink Floyd (without him) was filling stadiums while he was having trouble filling theaters. So now he comes to OUR country and starts slamming our President, alienating about half of his potential audience. What an air head. Think I’ll go watch Spinal Tap again.

      • John D. Fiat says:

        I’m calling BS on you! He is paid to play music, not speak. It might be a little different if he was a poet or something, but he’s not. He is a musician! Furthermore, your statement would have merit if we we’re mad about his set list (the songs he chose to play), but he wasted an entire 1/2 hour not playing music, which is his job. And that’s the point!

    27. Stephen Kuitems says:

      Go back to England and crap on them for a while. You wanker. Even if you don’t like him why do you think you should crap on this side of the pond. Good thing your irrelevant.

      • Melissa Anaya says:

        I find it so interesting people who voted for Trump the king of insults have such a problem with people insulting him and they have no problem spewing insults and people they disagree with. Waters is an Artist. True Artist. Not a singing monkey for your entertainment. He is a human being and a citsen of earth we all share this planet. A good person speaks out when they Wrong in anyform. Strong and Brave. 20k people loved every moment. White and born in America

        • John D. Fiat says:

          It’s not really about insults, it’s about wasting 1/4 of the concert (1/2 hour of a 2 hour show) on his (outrageous) political views rather than performing. This means that a person who paid 200 dollars got 50 of their dollars wasted on him not performing music. (he’s not a poet or politician) If he wanted to bag on Trump for a few minutes, then whatever, but it went way beyond that. Plus, children at the concert being subjected to seeing dildos, etc. It’s just disgusting! P.S. Rogers is way overrated anyway, and always rode the coattails of David Gilmour!

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